Cover Image: Odder


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Member Reviews

This was a cute read. The cover is adorable. I loved that Katherine based the characters on real-life otters that the Monterey Bay Aquarium rescued. The story was heart-warming, and there were a few parts of the story that made me so sad for Odder and her friend, Kairi.

This book is perfect for children and people who love animals. I also love that Katherine included information at the end of the book about the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the rescue program, and the real-life otters. There's also a glossary, and a selected bibliography included that can help readers learn more about otters.

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We loved this book! Odder is an adorable otter who got separated from her mother and went through rehabilitation and release. We learned a lot about otters in this fictional book in free verse. It’s such a great addition to any library! Thanks Katherine Applegate for writing another great book.

Thank you NetGalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for the opportunity to review this book.

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I love Katie Applegate's writing! She does not disappoint in her new piece of fiction about wildlife conservation and otters.
Odder is the story of a young Otter who starts life in the traditional otter way- kept safe and well loved by her mother. Soon a storm separates Odder from her Mom and tosses her onto land. She is scooped up by strange creatures (humans) and brought to an odd pond (an animal rehabilitation center) where she excels at dives and flips. The humans are excited with her progress and prepare her to be released from the center back into the wild. The question is will she thrive after captivity or will she need to return to the center and be officially named by the humans?
Applegate's writing is lyrical and jam packed with information. The story is very accessible to children and provides a great starting point for anyone interested in animal conservation and adorable otters (look at that cover!!).

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Sea Otters + Katherine Applegate + a novel in verse = middle grade gold. As she has proven previously in Wishtree, The One and Only Ivan, Home of the Brave, and many others, Katherine Applegate knows how to make readers care. Add Odder (releases 9-20-22) to that ever-growing list. I fell head-over-heels in love with Odder and I know kids will, too.

There are several excellent informational texts for kids about sea otters—Sea Otter Heroes by Patricia Newman is my personal favorite—and several adorable picture books, but this is the first middle grade novel about Sea Otters that I’ve encountered. I’m so glad Katherine Applegate decided to tell this tale, which is based on true stories from the lives of Elkhorn Slough otters cared for by conservation scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Odder could stand alone as a beloved read aloud. It could also be an unbeatable fictional hook for a classroom unit, which looks at endangered species, conservation work, trophic cascades in delicate ecosystems, climate change, apex predators, etc.. The backmatter—including glossary, author’s note, acknowledgements, selected bibliography, and resources for young readers—will provide teachers all they need to get started planning the unit.

NetGalley provided a digital advance reader copy of Odder in exchange for an honest review.

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Novel in Verse
I received an electronic ARC from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group through NetGalley.
An interesting approach to telling this story. Applegate uses free verse to share the otter's perspective along with human insights. In part one, readers meet Odder, a young otter who sets off a chain of events by being daring and a bit careless. After boldly attacking a shark to save her friend, Odder ends up back at the rescue aquarium where she was raised as a baby. We see Odder's story told from memories in part two. She brings readers to the opening events and moves forward from there to finish the book.
Applegate sets a tender tone that places readers in the ocean and in the tanks with Odder and the other otters. The verse design flows like sea water to mimic Odder's energy and fears. Don't miss the Author's Note at the end where she shares about the real location that handles otter rehabilitation and reintroduction. Based on several real animals, Applegate's characters behave in realistic and believable manners.
Looking forward to sharing this as a read aloud.

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If you are a fan of Katherine Applegate’s other works you will love this book. It is written in verse and has the most gorgeous illustrations.
As someone who loves animal stories, the oceans, conservation, and animal rescues this was a treat. It is especially unique to read an animal rescue story from the perspective of the animal being helped.
I loved the inclusion of real life information about the otters the characters in the books were based on. This will give many intermediate school science teachers opportunities to expand upon this book and learn more.
I think it would also be a wonderful read aloud for the younger grades as well. There’s nothing too frightening, which is a question our animal loving readers often ask.
I can’t wait to hand this to our readers!

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A beautiful novel in verse about playful, lovable Odder. Readers will fall in love with her bravery and friendship. Everyone should read it!

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Odder was a fantastic and charming novel in verse for middle grade readers. I loved how the rescue stories of the book's namesake, Odder, and other otters were told through the eyes of Odder. I found it nearly impossible to not be completely drawn into her world.

Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Odder by Katherine Applegate follows our main character Odder, a sea otter who spends her days twirling through the waters off the coast of California. The novel is told in verse and follows Odder and her friend Kairi in their ocean adventures until one day they come face to face with a great white shark.

Clearly I am not the intended audience for this book, but I have loved Katherine Applegate's previous books so I was slightly disappointed in this one. While I enjoyed many of the beautifully written verses of this book, I almost wish that it had been written in the traditional expository style. I wanted more from Odder than I think I was able to glean from the poems, and I think that kept me somewhat emotionally distant from the character.

That being said, I still did enjoy Odder as a character. I thought she was fun, playful, and insightful, and I loved seeing her journey throughout, albeit sad at points. The plot itself was enjoyable, and the book is broken up into several parts following different portions of Odder's journey.

Interestingly, I thought prior to reading that the sea otter was named Odder because she was "the odd one out" so to speak. I thought that feeling like an outsider was going to play a part in the story and go the direction of having a lesson of "just be yourself!". In reality, Odder is very outgoing and fits in well with the other otters in her orbit. She is different from other otters because of her adventurous spirit and desire to interact with humans! That was obviously a false perception on my part and not the fault of the book at all.

I thought the artwork was adorable and certainly will work to draw kids (and adults) further into the story.

I also think the fact that this book was based on a true story opens up a lot of educational opportunities to explore with kids including things like conservation, animal rescue, animal extinction, ecosystems, and the like!

Overall, Odder is a fun read following an adorably lovable character, though I found it lacked the same punch felt from Applegate's previous books. It is a must read for children who love animals or animal rescue!

Thank you to NetGalley and MacMillan Children's for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!

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A heartwarming story of a young sea otter that demonstrates resiliency while discovering her true self. Told in verse, the characters are based on real-life otters that were rescued by the Monterrey Aquarium rescue program. The lyrical way it is written adds to the beauty of the story.

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This was an adorable tale of a sea otter. I didn't expect to learn anything from this, but alas, I was overwhelmed with all the new otter facts. I smiled, cried, and felt an overwhelming amount of hope.

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Ⓑⓞⓞⓚ Ⓡⓔⓥⓘⓔⓦ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

🦦𝐾𝑎𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑛𝑒 𝐴𝑝𝑝𝑙𝑒𝑔𝑎𝑡𝑒
🦦Children’s Book
🦦288 Pages

🦦Sʜᴏᴿᴛ Sʏɴᴏᴘsɪs

🦦Odder tells of a baby otter who loses her mama. She is saved by Monterey Bay Aquarium's otter rescue and foster system, where she is raised and released. Will she make it in the wild?

🦦Mʸ Tᴴᴼᵁᴳᴴᵀs

🦦Odder is unique in many ways. It’s told in verse rather than a typical story format from the POV of Odder. That took a bit of getting used to.

🦦Her perspective of the funny animals that rescued her is pretty amusing. Odder thought, ‘Their paws had chubby tentacles, their bodies were practically bald, and their guttural songs hurt her ears.’

🦦My favorite thing about this story is that it is based on several otters from the real program, where many have been rescued and rehabilitated. The process is intriguing and more involved than people probably realize. Pairing baby otters with female otters that live at the facility full-time helps keep them from getting attached to humans.

🦦I also learned some new facts about otters. Odder is not only a touching story, it is also an excellent teaching tool. If you are interested in learning more go to:

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In the spirit of her beloved The One And Only Ivan and more recent Willodeen, Katherine Applegate gives us another tale of the tender relationship between animals and those that care for them in her upcoming middle grade release, Odder. Following an orphaned otter pup through her life, Odder gives readers a chance to delight with the playful creature, see the dangers of interactions with predators and man, and learn how conservation efforts have improved and how they can help make a difference.
My favorite element of this story was the fact that the four different otters named within are all based on actual otters who were housed at the Monterrey Bay Aquarium in California. This would make for some fun, real-world connections for readers in the classroom.
This book is perfectly suited for readers aged 7-10 and the novel-in-verse format makes it accessible to readers who would balk at longer offerings.
Odder is sure to delight!

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Sea otters are the darlings of the ocean, adorable and smart and curious, and they hold a special place in my heart. Growing up on the Monterey Peninsula in California, we would spy these endangered mammals frequently. And then, when the Monterey Bay Aquarium was built, we were repeat visitors, always stopping in to see the otters. When I saw that Katherine Applegate’s new book, Odder, is about sea otters in Monterey Bay, I couldn’t wait to read it! And it is everything you would expect from the other of The One and Only Ivan.

Here’s what you need to know about Odder: Odder is a curious, daring sea otter who lives in Elkhorn Slough (an estuary that leads to Monterey Bay). In fact, she is such a risk-taker that one day, she swims out of her safe area and comes face-to-face with a great white shark. This encounter forever changes her life. Told in verse, from Odder’s point of view, this beautiful novel is based on a real program at the Monterey Bay Aquarium that strives to save orphaned sea otter pups by pairing them with surrogate mothers.

I loved this book so very much and reading it made me miss my hometown and the sea. I highly recommend Odder for grades 3+; students who loved The One and Only Ivan will adore meeting Odder. Pair this with Sea Otter Heroes: The Predators that Saved an Ecosystem by Patricia Newman, a fantastic nonfiction title about sea otters in Elkhorn Slough.

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In 1957 Dr. Seuss took up the challenge of writing an entertaining children’s story using a 1st grade vocabulary list. Katherine Applegate accepts a similar challenge with her story-in-verse, Odder. Readers will find a captivating tale of a mischievous sea otter, and while enjoying the story of the rescue and rehabilitation of this wild creature, they will learn lots about sea otters in general and the role humans play in helping to preserve their population.
The science is real but so is the beauty of the language. And when I came to the last pages, I’m not ashamed to say I cried at the perfect ending.

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A MUST for any lover of Otters 🦦❤️ Add to that that it is penned by Katherine Applegate and it is a winner! I will definitely be using and recommending this book as a great read aloud and poetry study book. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC- I cannot wait for it to officially come out so I can get my hands on an actual copy!!!!

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Odder by Katherine Applegate is a delight to read. While it is a collection of otter related poetry, it is lyrical and reads like a read aloud should. My son absolutely loved it and I think it would work well as a read aloud in a classroom as well. Highly recommend! I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.

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Oh my gosh, this was one of the most adorable childrens books I've ever had the pleasure of reading. From the very first page I could tell this was going to be a winner. The illustrations are just so cute and I know kids will love this for years to come. The story itself is really quite interesting and contains great lessons for kids. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Pub day: September 20, 2022.

I liked the style of writing and the informative story telling of this. It was sad and heartwarming and full of important information.
I will say, this Isn’t one I will be reading to my six year old. Maybe around age 9, but it’s heavy content and length make it less ideal for children and feels more appropriate for Middle Grade and YA.

Thank you Netgalley and Macmillan Children’s Publishing for the arc in exchange for an honest review.

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“Fiction is the lie that tells the truth, after all,” author Neil Gaiman once said. This novel in verse is inspired by true events. Odder is the Queen of Play: Nobody has her moves. She spends her days dive-bombing to the bottom, riding waves and performing triple doughnuts. But when Odder comes face-to-face with a hungry great white shark, her life takes a dramatic turn that will challenge everything she believes about herself and the humans who hope to save her.
Inspired by the. True story if a Monterey Bay Aquarium program that pairs orphaned otter pups with surrogate mothers, this humorous tale examines the importance of bravery and play through the eyes of one of nature’s most charming creatures. I will definitely be adding this to our elementary library.

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